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Choosing the right survey

At Buckingham James Financial Services Limited we are able to help you with many aspects of your home purchase arrangements or raising money from your current home.

In this section we take a look at property surveys. We can help you choose a surveyor from our wide range of contacts who will provide you with peace of mind ensuring that you are made aware of the condition of the property and not exposed to any nasty surprises. 

Why do you need an RICS Home Survey? 

Because forewarned is forearmed. Choosing the right survey will help highlight any serious problems and advise you of the specific risks before you commit to the process of buying or selling a property.

RICS has three different types of survey (outlined further on this page).

These can only be conducted by qualified surveyors.
Reliable and cost effective, these reports carry the full
weight of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors – RICS
the industry’s most respected authority on surveying.

Buying a home.

It’s important to remember that your mortgage lender’s
valuation report is not a survey. It merely tells your lender whether or not the property is reasonable security for your loan.

An RICS survey will tell you the actual condition of
the property. That’s vital information that can be invaluable during price negotiations, and will also help you avoid expensive surprises after you’ve moved in.

Selling a home.

An RICS home survey can help you prepare for selling your property. It will show you any problems that may delay your sale or cause price reductions later in the process.

Staying at home.
A survey of the current condition of your home will warn
you of defects and help you avoid escalating repair and
maintenance costs in the future. It will also be extremely
useful if you’re thinking of remortgaging.

RICS provides 3 different types of survey:

The RICS Condition Report. 

Choose this report if you’re buying or selling a conventional house, flat or bungalow built from common building materials and in reasonable condition. It focuses purely on the condition of the property by setting out the following:

• Clear ‘traffic light’ ratings of the condition of different
parts of the building, services, garage and outbuildings,
showing problems that require varying degrees of

• A summary of the risks to the condition of the building; 

• Other matters including guarantees, planning and
building control issues for your legal advisers.

An RICS Condition Report does not include a valuation,
but your surveyor may be able to provide this as a separate extra service.

Ask your surveyor for a detailed ‘Description of the RICS Condition Report Service’ leaflet.

The RICS HomeBuyer Report.

Choose this report if you would like more extensive
information whilst buying or selling a conventional house, flat or bungalow, built from common building materials and in reasonable condition. It costs more than the Condition Report but includes:

• All of the features in the Condition Report plus a
more extensive inspection;

• The surveyor’s professional opinion on the ‘Market
Value’ of the property;

• An insurance reinstatement figure for the property;

• A list of problems that the surveyor considers may affect the value of the property;

• Advice on repairs and ongoing maintenance;

• Issues that need to be investigated to prevent serious damage or dangerous conditions;

• Legal issues that need to be addressed before completing your conveyancing; 

• And information on location, local environment and the
recorded energy efficiency (where available).

Ask your surveyor for a detailed ‘Description of the RICS
Homebuyer Service’ leaflet.

The Building Survey.

Formerly called a structural survey, you could choose the
building survey if you’re dealing with a large, older or rundown property, a building that is unusual or altered, or if you’re planning major works. It costs more than the other RICS reports because it gives detailed information about the structure and fabric of the property. 

It includes:

• A thorough inspection and detailed report on a wider range of issues;

• A description of visible defects and potential problems
caused by hidden flaws;

• An outline of repair options and the likely consequences of inactivity;

• Advice for your legal advisers and details of serious risks and dangerous conditions.

A building survey does not include a valuation, but
your surveyor may be able to provide this as a separate
extra service.

Source: RICS – Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.